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Windows 7: Windows Image folder is empty !

05 Oct 2016   #1
Mike99

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Windows Image folder is empty !

I just created an image of my new SSD using Windows 7 64 bit. I looked to see how large the file was compared to my older HDD images. But when I hover the cursor over the WindowsImageBackup folder name in Windows Explorer it says "Folder Empty". Right clicking & looking at Properties shows zero bytes.

What could I have done wrong?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Oct 2016   #2
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

This is normal for the Windows inbuilt system imaging. You can use disk management to explore within the folder and attach the largest vhd file. You can search its contents with Windows explorer. Right click on the left of the attached file (eg.k: or something) and disconnect when done.
Alternatively you can use Partition Wizard Mini Tool and explore the partition contents containing the image. This will only give you the size of the Windows system image folder components.

You will see that you have GBs of image data.

Ultimately you may want to also consider using the much more flexible (free) Macrium Reflect system imaging software.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2016   #3
Mike99

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The other images that were created with Windows have data.

I did search its contents with Windows explorer & there is nothing there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Oct 2016   #4
Eric3742

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Your WindowsImageBackup folder should be in another HDD as it cannot be in the C:\ drive as it is OS system.

Select that HDD and select the Properties.

It will show the actual files size use + free = total storage, say, 1TB HDD.

In normal case, this WindowsImageBackup folder may not be accessible and may indicate 0 size.

For folder with 000 size, it mean it is locked.

This is same as CD-R

After you copy 100 MB of files size and closed the CD-R.
If you try to check the CD-R free storage, it will be 0000 bytes size.

You required certain tools to see inside.

For CD-R there is a ISObuster.exe where it is able to see the actual filenames & folder-names.

For WindowsImageBackup folder with 000 bytes free, it is not suppose to fiddle with it.
Else it may affect if you want to do restore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2016   #5
Mike99

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The WindowsImageBackup folder is on an external HDD.

The first picture shows the properties of an older image folder which contains files & folders. I also have other images which also show files & folders.

The second picture shows the new image folder properties with no contents.

They're both on the same EHD. Why the difference?


Attached Images
Windows Image folder is empty !-bu_img-1.jpg Windows Image folder is empty !-bu_img-3.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2016   #6
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post
The WindowsImageBackup folder is on an external HDD.

The first picture shows the properties of an older image folder which contains files & folders. I also have other images which also show files & folders.

The second picture shows the new image folder properties with no contents.

They're both on the same EHD. Why the difference?
The 2nd screenshot is normal.
To get the first screenshot you must have forced permission access to the folder and subfolders. When you attempt to enter these folders Windows advises that you don't have permission but gives you the option to take permission. I'm unsure if this compromises your ability perform a system image restore in the future.
Windows system imaging can be touchy and I didn't force access when I used to use Windows inbuilt imaging.
As I've indicated you are safer using Macrium Reflect.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2016   #7
Mike99

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I never forced permission access to the folders, at least not intentionally. That being said I did use that first old one to install an image on a new HDD. I had to rename that old image to "WindowsImageBackup" in order to install it, however I don't recall if it mentioned anything about permissions.

I have another old image on the same EHD and it also shows it contains files & folders, yet I never made any attempt to use it.

I thought about using Macrium Reflect in addition to the Windows built in imaging tool. I'm trying to keep the new SSD installation as clean & lean as possible but it appears I have to install Macrium Reflect in order to use it. IOW it won't run off of a CD or DVD. Not a big deal I suppose, but I did want to make a Windows image first.

How do you verify that an image will work? Install it on another HDD?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2016   #8
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I made an image with Windows inbuilt system imaging only to test my comments in post #6. I needed to "force" my way into all WindowsImageBackup & sub folders. Only then did properties show its size. Windows effectively warns you about poking around in there but never understood why it hid the underlying size of the contents.

I don't see a problem installing Macrium. I have it on all 4 of my PCs. I think members on this forum would vote it as one of the most popular and reliable system imaging programs out there.
Once you make the necessary image restore CD/DVD/USB pe you can image from the booted pe disk. There are some cases where you may want to do this but generally you would use the installed version.

As far as testing... A verify will determine the bit integrity of the image but not guarantee a successful restore. Mounting the image and exploring the contents with Windows explorer gives some level of confidence (look but don't change anything). You should be making multiple images staggered over time (eg. some months).
Ultimately restoring to your existing OS drive or a new replacement drive is the only way to give you full confidence. Get your hands on a spare SSD or HDD, disconnect all other drives, connect the new drive and check that the restored image boots.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2016   #9
Mike99

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I did a restore to a spare HDD and the image worked. I then used this HDD and used Windows Explorer to look at the Image properties on the EHD. Now they all show no files or folders. However when using the original HDD the older images do show data just like they previously did.

Anyway everything appears OK. I plan on using the spare HDD for data and might pickup another one to keep on hand just to verify that an image works.

I have not tried Macrium yet because I wanted to create some images of a "no frills" SSD. IOW without any utilities. But I'll install it on the SSD and make some images with it.

Reading through the forum it seems moving images from one drive to another is not recommended. But then there are other postings saying it's OK. What's the latest consensus? I ask because until I get another EHD for Macrum images they would have to go on the same one with the Windows images. And then moved later, unless that's really taboo.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2016   #10
profdlp

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

I've never had any problem moving images to wherever I need to store them. My personal preference is to run a restore (when needed) from a secondary drive (i.e. not the target drive) hooked up to an internal SATA connection. It just goes faster and with less dependence on extra port drivers, cables, etc.

What you don't want is to have your restore image on the same physical drive as the OS. If the drive fails you lose the whole shebang. When I'm setting up a backup strategy I always allow for what-ifs such as "if this drive goes poof what do I do next?" When I reach the point where it would take a one-in-a-billion combination of bad luck to lose everything I feel like I can relax a little bit.
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 Windows Image folder is empty !




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